Football is often called the beautiful game. It is played around the world in huge stadiums and humble grass fields, in front of crowds or in a simple group of friends. While it is often glamorous, it doesn’t take much to play: you only need a ball (a can, a bottle, an orange, etc.) to kick, and four posts (hoodies, shoes, stones, wall paint, etc.) to mark the goals. The aim of the game, of course, is to get the ball in the opposing goal without using your hands. It can involve complicated tactics and strategy, but at the core, it is simple. Perhaps that is why there are so many armchair analysts and casual fans around the world, not to mention the serious experts and passionate supporters. Regardless of how much you know about football, going to a football game is always a more exciting experience than simply watching it on television!
If you want to go to a football game, you first need to check the schedule of your local team. On the fixture list, you will see home games and away games – the former is when the team plays in its own stadium, and when you can see them live. Choose a match, and pick your tickets somewhere in the home stands or the family stand. (If you select the away stand, it might be better to stay quiet!) If you are a season ticket holder, you will have regular seats at the ground; otherwise, you have to hope that the match is not sold out before you get your tickets.
At the stadium, you will receive a matchday programme that tells you a little bit about the match and gives you the team squads, shirt numbers, and positions of both teams’ players. This will help you identify players from where you are. Make sure to check the home and away kits for the day as well, to know who you are rooting for! From your seats, you will probably hear the home fans and away fans warming up and starting to sing some of their songs. There will be people in face paint, scarves held up, and flags flown. Amidst all the noise, you can recognize chants for the team, as well as individual chants for some of the fans’ favourite players. When the teams come out on the pitch hand-in-hand with their young player escorts, you will notice the referee, the assistant referees (linesmen), and the fourth official taking their spots, too. Before kick-off, there might be a theme song or national anthems played, and then it is showtime.
As the game starts, fans will cheer, but they will probably also boo and jeer at times: football is an emotional game, after all. Creative supporters will also aim a lot of banter at the opponents or opposing fans. On the pitch, you will see the line-up of your team, with 3-4 defenders, 3-5 midfielders, and 1-3 strikers in a formation that the manager chose. Now you can follow the action up close! Track the passes and through balls, cheer for the smart one-twos, hope for crosses to find their target for a header, cheer for successful dribbles, and especially for tricks like backheel passes, volleys, or bicycle kicks. Join fans in hoping that your attackers don’t miss a sitter or hit the crossbar and that your goalkeeper makes good saves. And if you need an explanation of the offside rule, make sure to ask. Whether your team wins, loses, or draws, hopefully, you get to see a few goal celebrations, see the stadium erupt after a worldie and be part of the shared experience of being a football fan!
Boyfriend: Hi, dear. How are you? Do you still want to check out the football match this weekend?
Girlfriend: Hi! It’s good to see you. Sure, I would love to go to the game! I still don’t know the first thing about football, though. Can you help me out? Who is playing this weekend?
Boyfriend: No problem; I’m happy to explain everything. I could talk about football all day! This weekend is the last matchday of the league, and Sunderland are playing for the league title. If they win, they will be champions and will be promoted to the first division. I haven’t been this excited in a long time!
Girlfriend: That sounds great! I hope they will do well. But if it’s such a crucial game, won’t it be sold out?
Boyfriend: No, no. My mate Jordan and his wife have season tickets, and they will be out of town, so they offered their seats to us. They are right at the halfway line!
Girlfriend: That’s pretty special! The last time we went to a match, I remember sitting behind the goal, and it was really hard to see. It was also loud, but I actually enjoyed that. It’s good to let off steam every once in a while.
Boyfriend: That’s the spirit! Do you also remember what happened in that game? That howler by the goalkeeper haunts me to this day…
Girlfriend: No, thankfully I just remember the atmosphere. And I’m sure the team will have better luck this time. But I’m always amazed: you are pretty dedicated if you have stuck with the team after all those hard moments!
Boyfriend: Well, being a fan is about sticking with it through the ups and downs. Even if things are bleak, there is always hope for something better.
Girlfriend: All right now, that’s enough philosophizing! You make sports sound like a bad soap opera.
Boyfriend: Don’t be so harsh! Let’s get on with the preparations instead. Do you still have your Sunderland scarf you brought last time?
Girlfriend: Of course! You’d better find your shirt, too. Now come on, let’s add the match to our calendar.
Boyfriend: Great, I’m stoked!
to check out the football match – kinézni a focimeccsre
I don’t know the first thing about football. – Egy fikarcnyit sem tudok a fociról.
I could talk about football all day! – Bármennyit tudnék beszélni a fociról!
to play for the league title – a bajnoki címért játszani
to be promoted to the first division – feljutni az első osztályba
I haven’t been this excited in a long time! – Régóta nem voltam ilyen izgatott!
They will be out of town. – Nem lesznek a városban.
It was really hard to see. – Nem lehetett jól látni.
It’s good to let off steam every once in a while. – Jó néha-néha kiengedni a gőzt.
That’s the spirit! – Ez a beszéd!
sticking with it through the ups and downs – jóban-rosszban kitartani mellette
Even if things are bleak. – Még ha sötétek is a kilátások…
There is always hope for something better. – Mindig van remény, hogy valami jobb fog történni.
I’m stoked! – Alig várom!
to help sy out – segíteni valakinek
matchday – forduló
crucial – kulcsfontosságú
sold out – teltházas
my mate – a haverom
halfway line – felezővonal
howler – szarvashiba
to haunt sy – valakit kísérteni
to this day – mindmáig
dedicated – elszánt
to stick with the team – kitartani a csapat mellett
philosophizing – filozofálás, elmélkedés
harsh – durva
to get on with sg – folytatni valamit
|beautiful game||a csodálatos játék|
|it doesn’t take much to do sg||nem kell sok, hogy …|
|aim of the game||a játék célja|
|at the core||lényegében, mélyen belül|
|armchair analyst||„fotelelemző”, otthoni szurkoló|
|casual fan||alkalmi szurkoló|
|local team||helyi csapat|
|home / away game||hazai/ idegenbeli meccs|
|see sg live||vmit élőben látni|
|home / family / away stand||hazai/ családi / vendégszektor|
|season ticket holder||bérletes|
|to root for||szurkolni|
|to fly flags (flags flown)||zászlót lengetni|
|player escort||játékos kísérő|
|assistant referee / linesman||partjelző|
|fourth official||negyedik játékvezető|
|to cheer||szurkolni, biztatni|
|to track passes||követni a passzokat|
|backheel pass||sarkazós passz|
|to miss a sitter||ziccert kihagyni|
|to hit the crossbar||kapufát (keresztlécet) eltalálni|
|to make saves||védéseket bemutatni|
|to draw||döntetlent játszani|
|to see the stadium erupt||látni felrobbanni a stadiont|